Stress and achievement in elementary school students: The mediating role of growth mindset

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The achievement gap is one of the most pernicious education problems in the United

States, and stress has a negative impact on achievement. Growth mindset may explain

how stress impacts achievement. This study used a short-term longitudinal design (n

= 251; 36% DLL) to evaluate growth mindset as a mediator of the negative impact of

stress on literacy achievement in 3rd - 5th grade students. Results confirmed that

perceived stress was negative related to achievement. The present study also explored

whether mediation model results differ between dual-language learning (DLL) and

English-native students. Although growth mindset did not act as a mediator in the full

sample, growth-minded attributions mediated the negative effect of stress on

achievement for non-DLL students only. These results hold implications for

understanding how to help students with the consequences of stress on their mindsets

and academic performance.